John 12:12 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
As we are preparing for the Passover, Jesus’s arrest, trial, death and resurrection, I want us to take a moment and study what Mary did.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus is at the house of Mary, Martha and Lazarus in Bethany and He is anointed by Mary for burial. She pours this costly nard oil and rubbed the whole expensive oil on His feet and ankles. After she rubs his feet with her hair. This was Mary’s way of showing Jesus that she loved Him.
Unbeknown to us, Passover lambs were chosen and inspected for five days before they were slaughtered. Their legs, ankles and feet were inspected, in order to make sure they had no blemish. The lambs would have their ankle and feet rubbed with oil as the inspection continued for five days and hence in 1 Pet 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
His disciples were not pleased that she wasted such an expensive perfume on his feet, especially Judas Iscariot. In the Jewish culture, if you had a guest come to visit, it was an hospitable thing to give them a bowl of water to wash their feet, due to walking in the dust. Drops of perfume could be added to the water, in order to give the water a pleasant smell but nothing lavish like what Mary did.
The oil she used was very expensive and only used for kings and royalty, which Jesus is. The nard oil was of considerable financial value. As she poured the oil at His feet, his disciples were speechless, as they knew the value of the oil. No one said anything except Judas; vs 4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
Jesus defended Mary by saying that she was not celebrating Him but was actually getting Him ready for what was ahead of Him, his death. In vs 7 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
As far as Mary was concerned Jesus was worth her pouring the costly oil at His feet. He had brought her brother back to life for starters, Jesus was a teacher with great knowledge, the Messiah, He was worth it. Verse 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Apostle Paul said a woman’s hair was her glory and honour; in 1 Corin 11: 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.
What Mary did was an act of humility, of honour and of love. She demonstrated her love for Jesus and showed everyone present how much she valued Him; she gave Jesus the greatest gift she had to offer Him.
What are you giving the Lamb of God this year, as we celebrate His resurrection? What are you letting go of because of what Jesus did for you? What sacrifice have you made for Him recently? What act of worship have you thrown at His feet?
We are told in Hebs 13: 15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Good Friday is round the corner and there is still time for you to do something special for Him whom you call day and night; do something unrivalled; something that you have never done before; take that extra step of faith and do something exceptional for Jesus as Mary did. Take time out to show Him how much you care, love and honour Him. Do something that will show the Holy Trinity how much you love and adore Him because God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son for you and I.
Happy Easter in advance.